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Drew Dowdell

New EV Tech Might Let You Run Your EV For Free

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According to Reuters, Nissan is working with two partners E.ON and EDF to develop technology and services to allow power stored in electric vehicles to be sold back to the grid at peak times.  The technology is called vehicle-to-grid (V2G).

In ideal situations, users charge their vehicles during off-peak energy prices and sell the energy back to the grid during times of high usage. By buying low and selling high, this would allow EV drivers to potentially have net zero charging costs. There is a benefit to energy grid operators also, it will allow the energy grid operators to smooth overall energy distribution, with the net effect of helping to stabilize the energy network. 

Nissan and Mitsubishi are working with French utility EDF and a V2G technology company called Nuvve to build a large scale V2G charging network in Europe for electric vehicles made by those two companies. Italy's Enel power utility is working on a similar pilot project in Denmark, Netherlands, Rome, and Genoa.  Honda is planning on including V2G capability when it launches its first electric vehicle in Europe. 

One setback for the technology is that the German auto manufacturers who will be making the largest number of EVs and PHEVs for Europe over the next years have not yet signed on to the project. Further, complicating matters is the lack of a charging standard both among EV manufacturers but also in V2G technology.  

A large part of the adoption of the V2G technology will come down to changing consumer habits, something consumers can be slow to do. 


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In places with old electric infrastructure, this makes total sense. I can see this also in 3rd world areas with the grid is marginal at best with blackouts, so being able to send power back into the grid makes sense. Hot areas that have brownouts like southern california makes perfect sense for this too.

Like the story says, standards is the achilles heel that can hurt this. Be interesting to see what comes of it.

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4 minutes ago, dfelt said:

In places with old electric infrastructure, this makes total sense. I can see this also in 3rd world areas with the grid is marginal at best with blackouts, so being able to send power back into the grid makes sense. Hot areas that have brownouts like southern california makes perfect sense for this too.

Like the story says, standards is the achilles heel that can hurt this. Be interesting to see what comes of it.

Power demand smoothing can be something even the most robust of electrical grids can use. It is simply more efficient from an energy perspective for your Nissan Leaf to power your neighbor's dishwasher than it is for electricity to be shipped from 100 miles away to perform the same task during peak times. 

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